Magwe Govt Closes Coal Mine Indefinitely After Deadly Explosion

By Zue Zue 1 December 2017

YANGON — The Magwe regional government has shut down a coal mine in Minbu Township after eight people were killed in a mine blast on Monday.

Police have also opened a case against the company owner and manager of the mine for the deaths, U Aung Win Sein, head of the regional fire services department, confirmed to The Irrawaddy.

The accident happened after a pipe used for injecting oxygen into the tunnel of the coal mine exploded. The blast took place at a depth of about 45 to 90 meters in the mine, which is owned by Han Htet Co.

All of the bodies were recovered on Wednesday, after which the mine was closed, said U Aung Win Sein.

The funeral for the victims was held on Thursday, and authorities have summoned the company management and employees to negotiate compensation, said U Khin Maung Lwin, a lawmaker representing Ngape Township in Magwe regional parliament.

“They said the collapse was caused by the oxygen pipe explosion. So, experts will come and investigate. The coal mine will be closed until the investigation is complete,” said the lawmaker.

Among the victims are four miners from Ngape Township, two Chinese supervisors and two interpreters.

The Magwe Region government permits 40 coal mines in the region and imposes a tax of 3,000 kyats per ton for production.